Published September 27, 1988
I feel compelled to respond to the over-technical and antiquated characterization of homosexuality that Denver H. Dash expressed in the September 20 issue of The Observer.
Mr. Dash asserted that his letter intended to "examine and classify homosexuality in a logical manner, in an effort to define what our attitudes toward it should be." However, I would no more adopt his attitude toward homosexuality than I would hurl myself in front of a speeding RTA bus.
The most disturbing part of Mr. Dash's "analysis" is that "homosexuality should be thought of as a disorder, and like all disorders we should do our best to treat it." Mr. Dash has failed to realize that after years of unsuccessfully trying to "cure" homosexuality, the psychiatric community has finally removed it from the list of mental disorders. If an entire group of experts no longer believes that homosexuality is a disorder, who is Mr. Dash to tell anyone that it is?
Furthermore, I object to Mr. Dash's blanket conclusion that homosexuality "is not normal, and therefore should not be treated as normal." He supposedly is "analyzing" homosexuality, yet he concludes with an obvious value judgment. "Normal" is an inherently subjective word; what is normal to one person is not necessarily normal to another. It is normal to a homosexual to be attracted to members of the same sex. We cannot, as Mr. Dash suggests, limit our definition of "normal" to the desire or ability to procreate, as we then risk labeling as abnormal all heterosexuals who do so. Should medical science find a "cure" for them as well? Homosexuality has a long history in the human race and in the animal kingdom, and is not likely to disappear or be "cured." We all need to accept that reality, and accept those who have not been previously accepted. As for Mr. Dash, I wish he had made an effort to adequately research his topic before he subjected the readers of this newspaper to his uninformed opinions.
Scott R. Miller, School of Law
Published September 27, 1988
As I was reading the September 20th issue of The Observer, I came across Denver Dash's letter to the editor and was deeply saddened. I am a student of medicine here at CWRU. I am taught to examine disease not as a collection of signs and symptoms, lab results and physical findings, but as part of the whole picture centered around the patient. To try to extrapolate the whole picture from one fact-one test result-is ludicrous and dangerous. Yet this is how Mr. Dash has attempted to explain homosexuality, by extrapolating from one fact. Alas, even this fact is narrow minded. Mr. Dash claims that homosexuals are "defective" because they cannot procreate. Does this definition also hold true for women who never want to bear children, or men who never cared to sire a child? Does this definition also hold true for heterosexual couples who chose to use birth control? Does all sex have to occur for the sole purpose of procreation? The answer to all of these questions is an emphatic "No!" In fact, I submit to you that homosexuals can further the process of the human race. The raising of adopted children is a common way for sterile heterosexual couples to "have" children; why can't homosexuals "have" children in the same way? Wouldn't a lesbian be giving birth to a child if she were artificially inseminated? It is not hard to see that Mr. Dash does not understand the issues about which he is writing. The issue is not about scientific facts or procreation. The issue of homosexuality is about love and lust, caring and understanding, friendship and romance. Homosexuality is about boyfriends and girlfriends just like any heterosexual relationship, and until you can understand that fact, you cannot profess to know anything about homosexuality. Eli M. Lourie, Medical School